Duterte's popularity surges as he targets big businesses

Philippine leader's attacks put off investors but bolster his appeal among supporters

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's popularity hit a new high last quarter. But the nation's stock market has dropped as much as 11 per cent from its 2019 peak as he stepped up his attacks against some of the country's biggest firms last month. PH
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's popularity hit a new high last quarter. But the nation's stock market has dropped as much as 11 per cent from its 2019 peak as he stepped up his attacks against some of the country's biggest firms last month.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MANILA • President Rodrigo Duterte is cracking down on some of the Philippines' biggest businesses, pushing a populist agenda that is endearing him to his supporters while putting off investors.

The nation's stock market is down as much as 11 per cent from its 2019 peak, and valuation has fallen to its lowest since 2011 relative to peers as Mr Duterte stepped up his attacks last month.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 29, 2020, with the headline 'Duterte's popularity surges as he targets big businesses'. Subscribe